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post #16 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrypt View Post
 

Originally, the R3s were advertised as having a detachable cable.  Since their permanently attached cables are said to be unusually durable and robust, only one problem seems to remain (assuming the earpiece connectors never come loose):  The ability to swap an inline mic cable for the standard one.  This option would be crucial for a preorder's mobile use.

 

It looks as though you can't preorder the R3 in a headset version, which means that being out and about and wanting to accept a call would involve a cumbrous headset attachment from a third party (which, in practice, I despise).  

 

I'd have preordered the R3 and the Delta (the latter for my grillfiend) if inline mic versions were offered or the cable really were detachable.  

 

Re the consistent claim that the R3 and Delta are "unrefined" -- that's a rather vague adjective to use.  What do you mean by unrefined exactly, and when you talk about the Deltas, are you comparing them to other IEMs in their price range?  

 

I'm not interested in the S1 personally, but if I were, I'd demand an inline mic, because the bassier signature seems designed for headset use in noisy environments.

 

It's very vague right now as I wrote that with about 20 minutes in on both IEM's. Just impressions.

I will go into more depth here like I would in a review. Because you are right, in both times, 'unrefined' meant exactly two different things and needed clarification which would go into a formal review.

 

In terms of the R3, it is unrefined compared in the sense that while it is going for a clear and neutral sound, it isn't reaching that because the mids don't have the clarity, bass is a bit off set in terms of how it sounds and the positioning of the entire sonic sequence(due to the soundstage created from the 'vortex chamber' in the R3). And thus, when compared to something like say a Tzar 350 or the clearness of the LCD3 (not exactly a clear champ here, but still reference) the R3's lose out on getting that plaque due to the afformentioned problems above. Not bad for $100-$120 though as it isn't harsh. I would rather the mids lose out on clarity and highs that don't shine as much as compared to an upper mid spike that makes me want to tear my eyes out. So yes, these drivers have been tuned and its doing great in terms of how BW balanced the 'vortex' chamber so it maintains clearness and realizing that possibly trying for more clarity(in the mids) might also increase harshness(in mids and highs). R3 L and R is very very annoying to find as it is very small indicator in a really weird place. However since the molded ear pieces are obviously molded and shaped for one ear. It only takes a moment to realize which piece goes into which ear. 

 

In terms of the Delta, it is a very off putting earphone. It produces the sonic frequencies like they should come out. This basically means that the mids are present and forward with notable highs, and a pronuncable bass. However past that, its unrefinement comes in just how it presents the frequencies. The sound is thin. For a visual/sonic image of 'thiness'. Early generation or fake Apple Earbuds(not earpods) are a good description in that while it has frequencies and how those freqs should act. The sound is very compressed together(thin) and with having an airy(lots of space) presentation. The delta's are by no means bad. The unrefinement is mainly just from the thin-ness in it. Everything else is pretty awesome considering the price of these. The soundstage is extremely wide adding to the airy-ness. The upper mids do have a slight sparkle(slight spike in fr) but it is not harsh and is tuned quite well to give it an edge without too much. Basically, frequencies are absolutely good. Tuned quite well with forward vocals with pretty good clarity for the price along with good low and high ends that aren't problematic in quality. However, the thin-ness of the sound which creates the airy presentation is the biggest problem. Airy is loved by many people, a thin sounding earphone however is not exactly a fine quality. But for $20, this is pretty good. Most are thin in this price range AND can't get the frequencies right. The plethora of eartips, build quality of the housing and cables with good strain reliefs and even a foam earpiece(not Comply) is of great surprise to me. The L and R is a bit hard to find. It is of adequate size, but the fact that the two buds are the same colors and identical in terms of housing(some angle the housing or different colors) does make it annoying.

 

Let me know if you want elaboration on any points for any additional info. 

post #17 of 132
  • Bowei006:  
  •  
  • Thanks for the detailed impressions of your cursory listen (to be followed by even more detailed impressions, apparently!). Very helpful.
  •  
  • I'm curious about the voicing of the R3s.  When you say the bass is "off set," it sounds as if you might be indicating either a delay, compensation for a delay, or an effect intended to create a wider soundstage. 

 

The fact you're even comparing these to the Tzar350 and LCD3 (unless you're just having fun underscoring the hilarious severity of the earlier distinction between refined and unrefined) says rather good things about the R3s.  Here I was expecting comparisons to the RE-400 and (since Raz has mentioned them repeatedly) the TF-10s!


Edited by scrypt - 10/5/13 at 11:53am
post #18 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrypt View Post

Originally, the R3s were advertised as having a detachable cable.  Since their permanently attached cables are said to be unusually durable and robust, only one problem seems to remain (assuming the earpiece connectors never come loose):  The ability to swap an inline mic cable for the standard one.  This option would be crucial for a preorder's mobile use.

It looks as though you can't preorder the R3 in a headset version, which means that being out and about and wanting to accept a call would involve a cumbrous headset attachment from a third party (which, in practice, I despise).  

I'd have preordered the R3 and the Delta (the latter for my grillfiend) if inline mic versions were offered or the cable really were detachable.  

Re the consistent claim that the R3 and Delta are "unrefined" -- that's a rather vague adjective to use.  What do you mean by unrefined exactly, and when you talk about the Deltas, are you comparing them to other IEMs in their price range?  

I'm not interested in the S1 personally, but if I were, I'd demand an inline mic, because the bassier signature seems designed for headset use in noisy environments.

I have both Delta and R3 and S1 and the R3 is not unrefined at all and neither is the S1. As I am typing this I am A/B/C testing all three using a Collin James tune 'Down in the Bottom".

Delta - The bassline and drums are clean punchy. The mids and treble are bright but grain is readily apparent throughout the song. The grain makes the song feel busy and noisy.
R3 - The bassline and drums are smoother and more refined but slightly less punchy. The mids are more recessed and the treble is not quite as hot. There is no grain present in the song. Given the straight up A/B test while there are some similarities in signature they are superficial at best. So I RETRACT my statement about them being the same. The Delta is a more brash sounding IEM that puts you very close to the stage while the R3 puts you further back while adding more detail and smoothness.
S1 - The bassline and drums have a heavier presence with good punch and smoothness. The mids are slightly further back than Delta more like the R3 in distance. The treble is more like the Delta in terms of position. The mids and treble do not exhibit the graininess of the Delta but are not quite as refined as the R3.

Delta = slightly elevated mids and treble but grain is readily apparent. But they sound very good considering their price and they offer a an excellent option for anyone wanting to try something that is not bass heavy in the $20 price range.

S1 = a mild V shaped sound that does not sacrifice the midrange to achieve it's bass and treble levels. When I first got the S1 I wasn't that impressed with them but as time goes on I am starting like their signature a lot and am starting to think they offer an excellent FUN signature that also offers a good mix of detail. For the song I tested I actually liked the S1 the most.

R3 = most neutral sound with the most detail. This headphone is very smooth and clean. It's design is also the most unique necessitating the memory wire to help get a good fit. This IEM will always require a bit of fiddling to get a good seal that stays but if you can use them without having to take them out of ear all the time the comfort and smoothness mean they will never be a fatiguing IEM.
post #19 of 132
For fun I just did an A/B between the R3 and the KEF M200 on the same Colin James tune.

The R3 has slightly more forward mids and ever so slightly more treble presence with slightly less bass presence and punch. If you want more neutrality the R3 is the more neutral of the 2 IEM's. If you want more bass impact then the KEF M200 is a better choice. Both IEM's offer similar levels of detail and refinement. This makes the R3 an excellent value considering it's quite a bit cheaper than the M200.

Comfort wise I think the R3 is also a winner. Build wise I prefer the strain reliefs and the angled jack of the R3 as well but the KEF M200 does have a lot of refinement and high end materials in their construction as well.

I will say though I like both IEM in regards to signature and can't say one is "better" than the other. They just offer slightly different signatures with similar levels of detail.
post #20 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrypt View Post
 
  • Bowei006:  
  •  
  • Thanks for the detailed impressions of your cursory listen (to be followed by even more detailed impressions, apparently!). Very helpful.
  •  
  • I'm curious about the voicing of the R3s.  When you say the bass is "off set," it sounds as if you might be indicating either a delay, compensation for a delay, or an effect intended to create a wider soundstage. 

 

The fact you're even comparing these to the Tzar350 and LCD3 (unless you're just having fun underscoring the hilarious severity of the earlier distinction between refined and unrefined) says rather good things about the R3s.  Here I was expecting comparisons to the RE-400 and (since Raz has mentioned them repeatedly) the TF-10s!

My review won't be that much more detailed in terms of explaining terms, but it will be layered and sectioned off with each sonic section about the length of what I wrote for that above.See my site for more reviews in the 'reviews' tab at the top

http://pandatechreview.com/index.html

 

The R3's uses dual dynamic drivers. First one is the 'acoustic' one, while the second one is for bass. Basically, they created a dynamic IEM that operates like a linear armature one. The vocals and highs are more 'near' to the person in terms of imaging and positioning, whilst the bass is almost like there is a subwoofer farther away from you that produces a muffled, but tight bass sound. Imagine two speakers right in front of you by a few feet and then a subwoofer about 2-3 feet behind it. You get the impact of the well controlled bass, but it isn't in your face. Not bad, it may take some who are used to the normal IEM's some getting used to it. I was like that for all of 30seconds before I did.

 

I used Tzar 350 and LCD-3 as a comparison for its mid and high range, its clarity there and neutrality. The Tzar 350's are purpose built UIEM's. They have close to no bass and are fit for a very set genre base whilst the R3 is a bit more genral(but still restricted) in its genres it works well with due to its addition of the bass driver.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dweaver View Post



Delta = slightly elevated mids and treble but grain is readily apparent. But they sound very good considering their price and they offer a an excellent option for anyone wanting to try something that is not bass heavy in the $20 price range.

S1 = a mild V shaped sound that does not sacrifice the midrange to achieve it's bass and treble levels. When I first got the S1 I wasn't that impressed with them but as time goes on I am starting like their signature a lot and am starting to think they offer an excellent FUN signature that also offers a good mix of detail. For the song I tested I actually liked the S1 the most.

R3 = most neutral sound with the most detail. This headphone is very smooth and clean. It's design is also the most unique necessitating the memory wire to help get a good fit. This IEM will always require a bit of fiddling to get a good seal that stays but if you can use them without having to take them out of ear all the time the comfort and smoothness mean they will never be a fatiguing IEM.

I do agree with this. It's the fine points of the R3 that I slightly disagree with. I personally heavilly prefer the S1 to all the IEM's here but that is for multi genre situations and when I want to enjoy music as a consumer and not as an audiophile. If its the later, the R3's are the best bet.

 

For $100-$120, the R3's have some of the most neutrality and detail WITHOUT harshness or freq imperfections that plague many IEM's at its tier. Compare the neutrality and detail of these to say reference headphones and some things can be noted in the clarity and detail departement.

post #21 of 132

Thanks so much for your detailed impressions, DW.  I wish I could lend you my TF-10s for a quick comparison as well, since the similarity between it and the R3 was not only intended but mentioned publicly (and echoed by certain details, such a the fiddly memory cable "Frankenstein earpieces" (Raz's words) and premature spec sheet's mention of detachable cables).


Edited by scrypt - 10/5/13 at 8:11pm
post #22 of 132

I have owned the TF10's. R3's and TF10's are on operate spectrums completely

 

R3 has more clarity and detail in mids and highs, and is airy and clean in presentation with a soundstage and imaging feature.

 

TF10 is much less detail and clarity in mids and highs but better detail in lows. The presentation is full and warm without any 'space' left for an open or clean presentation like the R3's(thick rich sound everywhere as opposed to a light cream of the R3's). Not that much soundstage or imaging last I remember.

 

TF10's work with a wide variety of genres. Does hip hop, rap, pop, mainstream rock the best with good performances in all the other genres whilst the R3 is reverse. Both don't fail hard on any genres, but its not as good as it could be. 

 

In the growing world of cheaper and better sounding IEM's, there is a good reason why the TF10 was retired and why it couldn't even be sold at retail $400 by Logitech. 

post #23 of 132
When I owned the TF10 I found them to V shaped for my liking as it affected the mids to much. The R3 is more neutral with less bass but much better mids and treble. Signature wise the S1 is more like the TF10.
post #24 of 132

Thanks again for the detailed perspective, bowei and DW. I very much appreciate your willingness to be specific and to go into some detail. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post
 

In the growing world of cheaper and better sounding IEM's, there is a good reason why the TF10 was retired and why it couldn't even be sold at retail $400 by Logitech. 

 

Two things:  

 

1.  The comparison between the R3 and the TF-10 isn't mine.  It was made at least three times by Raz himself from Brainwavz -- both at the beginning of development and later on when he listened to them extensively.  When people from the company that manufactures an IEM make consistent references to a different model by a different company, it makes you want to compare the two to see what they mean.  Most companies would try to tell you their product was different and innovative, so I found it amusing when Raz compared his to the TF-10.  

 

In the course of a few public conversations, the expansively diffident Mr. Raz also called the R3 "big and fugly" (a chortle-worthy epithet for him to have used when prospective buyers were waxing poetic about the look of the aluminum earpieces) and said of the Deltas, "we even broke from the normal black color and added some color and flare (but not too much flare)."  He also mentioned that he tried out a prototype of the R3 in black and dismissed it by saying the finish "didn't really look nice."  And compare his verbal shrug of indifference when asked about the R3's appearance to Val Kolton's effusiveness(!): "They are not stealthy but i've certainly seen worse ones."

 

2.  Again, the fact you're saying the TF-10 couldn't "even" be sold for $400 while comparing them to IEMs that cost $129 suggests that the R3s must sound very good for the money.  

 

Raz also said the R3s benefited from the use of an amp.


Edited by scrypt - 10/5/13 at 9:32pm
post #25 of 132
I think the R3 sound as good as the KEF M200 and they are significantly cheaper so yes, I think they are an excellent value for the money. Note the differences in the two IEM's signature though as that can and should be a factor as well as price. But technically I think they are very similar in regards to detail etc.

BTW I have been sitting for the past hours and half with the R3 in ear and I have forgotten they were their unless I moved my head around so very comfortable. I will test them outside tomorrow and the train on Monday to see how they handle being out and about.
Edited by dweaver - 10/5/13 at 8:16pm
post #26 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrypt View Post
 

 

Two things:  

 

1.  The comparison between the R3 and the TF-10 isn't mine.  It was made at least three times by Raz himself from Brainwavz -- both at the beginning of development and later on when he listened to them extensively.  When people from the company that manufactures an IEM make consistent references to a different model by a different company, it makes you want to compare the two to see what they mean.  Most companies would try to tell you their product was different and innovative, so I found it amusing when Raz compared his to the TF-10.  In the course of a few conversations, he also called the R3 "fugly" (an chortle-worthy epithet to use when prospective buyers are waxing poetic about the aluminum earpieces) and said of the Deltas, "We tried a new color this time instead of our usual boring black." 

 

2.  Again, the fact you're saying the TF-10 couldn't "even" be sold for $400 while comparing them to IEMs that cost $129 suggests that the R3s must sound very good for the money.  

 

Yeah, Delta's look consumer now due to the white and red.

 

TF10 and R3 are for different needs, for my needs, I prefer TF10, but for others, many will love R3. I've been using it while watching a few series today and its been pretty awesome.

post #27 of 132

More talk on the R3, i like :)

 

@bowei006 The foam tips in the delta are by Comply, they are a pair of S-400 tips from Comply active line.

 

@scrypt - I actually didn't really make comparisons to the sonic attributes between the R3 and TF10 (not that i remember, correct me if i am wrong), i did make comparisons to their size in discussion with the R3 looking like frankenbolts, much like the TF10 can look like and same with sony new XBA earphones and many of the newer gen bluetooth earphones when they are in someones ears. I only really made public statements on sonic comparisons with two JVC models (their dual and triple dynamic driver earphones, can't remember the model names at this time).

 

Keep in mind the R3 has been in the works for almost a year and almost through out the year it went through many physical and sonic changes, so some of my earlier comments on sound may not reflect the final version that people are testing now due to tuning changes.

 

We did have a R3 made in black, it didn't look nice but that was down to the method of anodizing, there are other ways to color metal and that affects the finishing quite a lot, its simply a matter of having time to try different colors and finishes, if we can get a black R3 made that looks slick then you can probably expect to see it down the road.

 

The reason there are no headset version of the R3 or any in our new line up is that our team wants to design one from the ground up, most others in this industry pick off the shelve mic/remotes and customize the exterior look, i am not really satisfied with these off the shelf solutions and i want to spend more time creating a good, durable and long lasting mic/remote that can be used/adapted to all our current and future models.

 

Amping does help with the R3.

post #28 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by dweaver View Post

I think the R3 sound as good as the KEF M200 and they are significantly cheaper so yes, I think they are an excellent value for the money. Note the differences in the two IEM's signature though as that can and should be a factor as well as price. But technically I think they are very similar in regards to detail etc.

BTW I have been sitting for the past hours and half with the R3 in ear and I have forgotten they were their unless I moved my head around so very comfortable. I will test them outside tomorrow and the train on Monday to see how they handle being out and about.

Interesting as I was very close buying an M200. I went with the SA7 LTD instead for $250. Also very different as the SA7 has more bass than the R3 and the SA7 is bigger sounding and much more forward overall. The SA7 is not as forgiving as the R3 and and benefits from better files and amping more than the R3. Interesting twist that the armature based SA7 is the warmer, bigger, thicker, and bassier phone and the dynamic based R3 is the cooler sounding, more balanced earphone.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by razzer001 View Post
 

More talk on the R3, i like :)

 

@bowei006 The foam tips in the delta are by Comply, they are a pair of S-400 tips from Comply active line.

 

@scrypt - I actually didn't really make comparisons to the sonic attributes between the R3 and TF10 (not that i remember, correct me if i am wrong), i did make comparisons to their size in discussion with the R3 looking like frankenbolts, much like the TF10 can look like and same with sony new XBA earphones and many of the newer gen bluetooth earphones when they are in someones ears. I only really made public statements on sonic comparisons with two JVC models (their dual and triple dynamic driver earphones, can't remember the model names at this time).

 

Keep in mind the R3 has been in the works for almost a year and almost through out the year it went through many physical and sonic changes, so some of my earlier comments on sound may not reflect the final version that people are testing now due to tuning changes.

 

We did have a R3 made in black, it didn't look nice but that was down to the method of anodizing, there are other ways to color metal and that affects the finishing quite a lot, its simply a matter of having time to try different colors and finishes, if we can get a black R3 made that looks slick then you can probably expect to see it down the road.

 

The reason there are no headset version of the R3 or any in our new line up is that our team wants to design one from the ground up, most others in this industry pick off the shelve mic/remotes and customize the exterior look, i am not really satisfied with these off the shelf solutions and i want to spend more time creating a good, durable and long lasting mic/remote that can be used/adapted to all our current and future models.

 

Amping does help with the R3.

I also think of the TF10, which I had two of. I bought them both at $400 Limited edition and again at $99 Black Friday price years later. Only in so much that they are both big earphones and take some time to shape the memory wire correctly to get and keep a good seal.

 

Raz, I might suggest a shorter memory wire section in the future. Tough to use the case, unless it was larger, since the memory wire portion may need to be bent to fit in the case then again when taken out to wear..

 

I agree amping can bring them forward a bit and gives them more impact if needed.


Edited by jant71 - 10/6/13 at 8:20am
post #29 of 132
Speaking of amping I have been using my pair with a small desktop tube amp and not from my phone which is my usual source for portable use. I will take the dog for a walk today and give report back about any differences I hear as well as wind noise and microphonics. I also have left the R3 burning over night so will ser if there is any change in sound with a night of good burnin.
post #30 of 132
Hmmm interesting. It appears the warmth of my tube amp and it's power added a bit more to the R3 than my Nokia 920 phone but is similar to my iPad Mini. interestingly both portable sources seem to have a bit more bass presence than my Little Dot DAC Tube amp combo on my computer. The Nokia gives the IEM a more V shaped signature with emphasis on the bass and treble and a bit of hollowing out in the mids. The iPad mini has the added warmth and slightly softer treble. The mini clearly sounds better than my Nokia 920 as the hollowing out is noticeable and makes it feel like the music is losing detail. So the IEM is definitely source dependant. The amp also helped increase detail as compared to both portable sources.

The more I listen to the R3 I do feel it is tuned to ensure it doesn't offend in any area at the expense of some dynamics but is a great IEM if you have issues with sibilance.

@Razzer001, what is the impedance and the sensitivity of the R3? It seems to need a bit more volume that most of my IEM's.
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